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Lily Vanilli

Restaurants, Bakeries Bethnal Green
4 out of 5 stars
(18user reviews)

Time Out says

A celebrated East London bakery

Lily Jones (aka Lily Vanilli) carved out a solid, celebrity-packed fan base well before opening her own bakery, and her forays into sculptural, macabre cake creations (gingerbread gravestones, anyone?) set her far apart from the mainstream cupcake clan. These days, she still puts on an innovative show, although space is tight in her gorgeous little courtyard café if you fancy sampling wacky delights such as yuzu lemon tart or pomegranate and black-tea vegan cakes. Lily is only open on Sundays, but this is a cosy teatime treat – especially after a trip to Columbia Road flower market (just a skip away).

By: Time Out London Food & Drink



Address: 6 The Courtyard
E2 7RH
Cross street: Ezra Street
Transport: Tube: Cambridge Heath rail
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Users say (18)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:7
  • 4 star:7
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:2
2 people listening
1 of 1 found helpful

Delectable cakes, good coffee and friendly staff. Decoration on these cakes is out of this world and immediately draw you in to this tiny little cafe. It's more set up as a grab and go kind of place, which is a bit of shame as it would be nice to sit and enjoy them, but it gets so busy that they've sadly not really got the space for that. If you're lucky and you're there late enough on a Sunday there may be a free cake in it as they get rid of left over stock!


Lily Vanilly is a must-do pit stop when visiting the Colombia Road flower markets on any given Sunday. The selection of cakes are not only deliciously moreish, but pretty as a petal. While the cafe itself is tiny, they have loads of outdoor seating to soak up the sun and the atmosphere, while tucking into the cakey goodness. 


It’s hard to go wrong with the Lily Vanilli's cakes. They look cute, they taste amazing. Apart from the fantastic cakes, whey also do scrumptious sourdough sandwiches. The choices are limited, usually two options, but they delicious. The coffee is worth stopping by for, too.

The problem with this café is that it’s really tiny. There’s literary one table inside (if you’re lucky, you can get one of the two in the yard in font) and one long bench you can squeeze yourself in among other guests, so be prepared for a quick snack rather than for a long caching up with friends.


Lily Vanilli have popped up to sell their wares as part of the recent restaurant launch at Spitalfields market. Their stall was packed with delicious treats and a I bought a few to sample. As recommended, their pecan brownie was an absolute hit. To mark Halloween, the pecans had been decorated into cockroaches, on the sticky toffee pudding cake a gingerbread cross marked a grave and the lime tart held a ghostly meringue. Each of these cakes were sensational and beautifully crafted. I can't wait to head back and try more. So when your life demands something seriously beautiful, get down to Spitalfields market and take advantage of Lily Vanilli's daily presence.


What a great little spot to head to on a Sunday in between flower browsing on Colombia rd.  They are small, cheap and cheerful (but not a whole lot of space to sit around) which is fine if you're strolling the streets for bargains anyway.

Great coffee and even quite a few options if you have intolerances!  Stop by and grab a bite to go


A touch of beauty, a touch of creativity, Lily Vanilli is one of those friendly places that it's impossible not to like if you go with the right expectations. Run like a family place, you can see the someone messy kitchen in the background whilst goodies are being replaced as you queue up for your turn to be served. That being said, it's not a place to linger and catch up, with a rather long counter with the exposed goods to choose from and little seating space - maybe not the most hygienic but, if you're not too fussy, you'll enjoy the experience of drooling over the beautifully crafted creations. Grab a bite (some savoury pastries also available, yay!) and a coffee, and head to the neighboring Columbia Flower Market on a Sunday for the perfect setting to devour your choice.


Such a lovely cake cafe in one of the best spots in East London. Cakes look amazing and taste wonderful. It does get quite busy on Sundays when the Flowers Market is on, but it is really worth a visit. You'll find it right in the heart of the little vintage market courtyard. Make sure you go there early to find the full selection as food gets sold out quickly!

The cakes look absolutely stunning - but being someone of a more savoury disposition I opted for the classic cheese on toast. It was super tasty, but my big qualm is they wouldn't heat it up for us! I'm a little forgiving because they had a long line, and few staff, but still.. cold cheese and toast kind of looses the magic for me!


Cute little cafe right next to Columbia Road Flower Market at a cute little courtyard. As you might expect it gets quite busy on Sundays when the market is on. Excellent quality and amazing flavours but slightly expensive and they don't have a big selection - it feels the demand is much more than the actual product. Perhaps if you go early you have better luck than me! Excellent coffee too and a cute table that you can share and drink your coffee. There are also some stands and some outdoor tables in the courtyard!


What is with the £10 credit card limit these little cafes impose on an increasingly cashless society these days? Also they didn't have soy for the coffees on Sunday morning, their most busy day of the week due to Columbia Road Flower Market... really unacceptable. Service was just so disinterested, geez, where did they hire these people? There are other places, this looks trendy but really, I wouldn't go back.

THE BEST! THE BEST! A SUNDAY ESSENTIAL! most delicious treats sweet and savoury. the root cake is the best thing to ever happen to a vegetable.

Absolutely delicious moist spelt carrot cake, cut generously for £3, you could really taste the quality of the ingredients and the care that had gone into baking it. Washed down with literally the best coffee I've had in London (just pipping Soho's Flat White to the post). My gf had the salted chocolate brownie which was melt in the mouth lovely (at least the corner I got to try!) The countertops were overflowing with unusual cafe treats we didn't get to try this time: mini bakewells, velvet cupcakes, delicious-looking sausage rolls, even Absinthe ice cream (!). There's a buzzy atmosphere as it's popular and different and a feeling of having found something happening. I didn't find the staff (including Lily Vanilli herself who was a gracious hostess with the mostess) unfriendly, just busy and serving people fast to keep the queues down.

Excellent quality and delicious cakes! A massive range to choose from. Fun & knowledgable staff. We had a perfect afternoon!

Not impressed by the cupcakes: very plain and not many varieties available. Staff could be nicer and more polite.

0 of 1 found helpful

Unprofessional staff. Difficult to place an order from a voucher, treated us as second class customers.

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